Private Initiatives -- Public Good -- Quality of Life
by George McCully, August 2008
A re-interpretation and strategic overview of philanthropy--its meaning and values, greatest accomplishments, current transformations, and future directions.
- "Promethean Fire: the Archetype" -- in ancient Greece, "the love of humanity", or of what it is to be human--an educational and cultural ideal;
- "Philanthropy's Finest Hour: the American Revolution" -- the Revolution as philanthropy in action--how Classical philanthropy through voluntary associations produced a "purportedly philanthropic nation";
- "Philanthropy Yesterday and Today" -- how 20th-century growth and professionalization made philanthropy paradigmatic, but neglected Classical values, and how we are now in a paradigm-shift, in which philanthropy is being transformed by computers and the Internet, the globalization of the American economy, and new demographics of wealth.
- "The Future of Philanthropy" -- how the paradigm-shift analysis illuminates issues facing Old Paradigm institutions, and current trends suggesting a probable future;
- "Philanthropy Reborn" -- how a possible New Paradigm, uniting Classical ideals with Internet-based operations, might benefit donors, grantmakers, philanthropic advisors, trustees, executive directors, scholars, media journalists, teachers and students.
has had two careers--first for 20 years as professor of European history, from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment; then for 25 years as professional philanthropist--fundraiser, strategic planner, executive director, trustee, and advisor to charities, foundations, families and individual donors. In 1997 he created the highly respected and influential Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy
, to promote charitable giving and strengthen the culture of philanthropy through donor-education. Mailed annually to 120,000 affluent households statewide, with articles about philanthropy supported by descriptions of (in twelve years) over 900 charities, the cumulative Catalogues are today the most thorough and detailed description, defense, and advocacy of philanthropy ever published (www.cfp-ma.org)